October 19, 2018
For immediate release
District adds another way to stay connected with student progress
When it comes to communication, parents and families have always cared most about how their child is progressing school. In the information age, with so many ways to communicate, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed.
The School District of Sheboygan Falls is focused on making it easier for parents to stay connected to their child’s progress in school using technology. The District is providing a two-pronged plan to help parents more easily access information about their child(ren)’s progress in school.
The first of these prongs was to find a way to make sure all parents could easily access their children’s grades with Infinite Campus, an online student records software. Infinite Campus had been used by the district since 2013. In recent surveys, it was revealed that both students and parents desired the ability to more easily view grades that were being earned in each class.
Therefore, the district pushed information in early October to parents about Campus Parent, an Infinite Campus app. Campus Parent allows viewers to easily access real-time student information such as announcements, assignments, attendance, grades, and schedules. Viewers can see what is currently happening in the classroom and understand, monitor, and participate in the educational process.
While parents, families and students can continue to access the progress information available through Infinite Campus through the District’s website, the app can be downloaded to a mobile phone.
The second prong was to help parents better understand what learning was taking place in their children’s classrooms. The district’s administrative team was eager to take this project on, as they did not want the focus to be solely upon grades. A new learning management system, Canvas, was adopted and implemented during the 2017-18 school year. However, the parent desktop/android/IOS apps were not easily available until recently. With these apps, families are able to view the student’s calendar where assignments and important dates are stored. They are also able to view online assignments, videos, and lessons that their students experience during the day. Basically the parent is given a window into their student’s day.
“Starting at workdays in August, teachers have been training on how to build resources into Canvas so that both students and parents can easily navigate their homepages,” said Mike Nikson, Instructional Technology Coordinator.
“Teachers relied heavily on their websites to communicate with families. However, times have changed, and we are excited to see that the Canvas homepages provide a much more robust view of what is happening in classrooms in our district,” he said.
Last school year, as part of its ongoing process to improve communication, 65% of parents surveyed were satisfied with the information that they received from the school.
“While it was good, it wasn’t good enough. We had much higher ratings in other areas of communication, but that piece of data underscored the necessity to improve access to grades and information at the school level,” said Superintendent Jean Born.
“We are trying hard to be responsive to the feedback that families provided and plan to survey them again in the spring to see that are efforts are paying off,” said Born.
“Face-to-face will never be obsolete,” said Born. “But with busy families, technology makes it easier for families and students to stay on top of what’s happening with grades and progress, on a regular - if not daily - basis.”
Families can learn more by reading the information that was sent home via Infinite Campus messenger, the district’s website, and the district’s Facebook page.